Green tomato recipes are an old fashioned tradition meant to ensure every last bit of the harvest is put to good use. Don’t let those underripe tomatoes go to waste, there are so many creative ways to use green tomatoes (besides the ever-popular fried green tomatoes).
Every year my tomato plants set fruit well into the fall months…only to be killed by early frosts in our short 100 day Vermont growing season. We’ll top the plants with spare bedsheets to protect them from light frosts, but when temps well below freezing those tomato plants are done for.
With a killing frost on the way, it’s time to strip the plants bare before nightfall. That often means buckets, baskets, and totes filled to the brim with green tomatoes.
With patience and good airflow, many of those underripe beauties will still ripen on the counter over the next few weeks. Many though, will spoil in buckets long before they ripen.
This isn’t exactly a new problem, and resourceful gardeners have been cooking up green tomato recipes for generations.
Green Tomato Canning Recipes
Since green tomato harvests usually come by the bucketful in the fall, it’s no surprise that there are literally dozens of ways to preserve green tomatoes. You can’t fry them all, but it’s easy enough to preserve green tomatoes with enough creative green tomato canning recipes.
Green tomatoes are actually more acidic than fully ripe tomatoes, and their texture holds up better to prolonged cooking. Add in a flavor that works equally well in savory and sweet recipes, and you’ve got the perfect vegetable for everything from pickles to pie filling. (Yes, really…home canned green tomato pie filling…)
There are so many green tomato canning recipes, I’ve separated them into savory and sweet.
Savory Green Tomato Canning Recipes
Green tomatoes maintain their crunch better than cucumbers for pickling, but they also make excellent salsa, ketchup, and chutney.
All of these recipes are perfect for water bath canning, but they also make great refrigerator or freezer preserves as well (no canner required).
Sweet Green Tomato Canning Recipes
I know, it sounds strange, but green tomatoes are actually amazing in sweet preserves. I was really skeptical, but I absolutely loved old fashioned green tomato jam.
Don’t knock it until you try it…
Green Tomato Cocktails & Drinks
Never would have guessed there’d be enough drink recipes using green tomatoes to warrant their own category.
Trust me, I’m as shocked as you are.
Green Tomato Bread, Soup & Salads
Unripe tomatoes can fit in just about anywhere, and they’re great at adding moisture to quick breads.
Green tomato cornbread is particularly lovely, and it’d go well with green tomato soup!
Green Tomato Main Courses
If you really need recipes using a lot of green tomatoes, then dinner’s the way to go.
Turn them into the main course and you’ll work through your harvest in no time.
Green Tomato Desserts
There are a surprising number of old fashioned desserts made with green tomatoes. I told you they were versatile!
Cultured & Fermented Green Tomato Recipes
Home fermenting gets more popular every year, as people discover just how easy it is to make your own nutritious probiotic vegetables.
If “healthy” isn’t really your thing, you can always ferment a bit of green tomato wine too…
Fried Green Tomato Recipes
There’s no way I can end a list of green tomato recipes without covering classic fried green tomatoes. Sure, they’re well known, but there’s more than one way to get the job done. Seasoning? Single or double batter? Deep fry, pan fry, air fry, or bake?
So many tasty options for cooking up a humble green tomato.
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